A second round of taxpayer-funded campaign funds will be approved by the city’s Campaign Finance Board at the end of this week, giving mayoral candidate Maya Wiley a much-needed cash injection as the race for mayor continues to heat up.
Wiley, who formerly served as Mayor Bill de Blasio's chief counsel and most recently appeared on MSNBC as a legal analyst officially, met the threshold to unlock matching funds for her campaign. She joins city Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams who had already collected funds, putting them far ahead of the money race so far.
Wiley campaign officials say she has raised $715,000 from at least 7,000 donors. Of that, $280,000 can be matched at a generous 8-to-1 ratio thanks to the city's publicly funded campaign system. According to her campaign, Wiley will likely qualify for at least $2 million from the CFB, bringing her total campaign war chest to about $3 million.
But despite getting the matching funds, Wiley is lagging behind Stringer and Adams who have been leading the fundraising contest, have wider name recognition, and have held public office for the last several years.
Both Stringer and Adams qualified for the first round of matching funds back in December.
According to the Stringer campaign, he will have approximately $8.3 million by the end of this week in total. Stringer's campaign said he raised over $2 million for the most recent filing period -- including the matching funds. Of $458,000 raised in contributions, Stringer's camp estimates it will receive $1.57 million in expected matching funds.
Adams' campaign is projecting an $8 million dollar campaign war chest once matching funds are released. The Adams campaign said it has raised $438,000 from 1,158 new contributions in the last period.
The matching funds program has strict requirements which not everyone in the crowded field of candidates is likely to meet.
The Campaign Finance Board provides 8-to-1 matching funds on donations from city residents who give between $10 and $250. In order to qualify, candidates must raise a minimum of $250,000 in eligible donations.
Former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, non-profit executive Dianne Morales, former Veterans Services Commissioner Loree Sutton and Councilmember Carlos Menchaca have all been struggling to meet the requirement.
Former Federal Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said Wednesday his campaign has raised over $2.6 million in contributions overall, including $954,000 in the most recent filing period.
Of the crowded field, former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire is the only candidate to opt out of the program which allows him to ignore the spending cap. His campaign did not return a request for comment, but athe New York Times reported Wednesday the campaign is expected to report raising just over $5 million.
Zach Iscol, an entrepreneur and veteran who helped set up the state's COVID response at Javits Center reported raising more than $230,000, bringing him closer to the $250,000 threshold required to participate in the matching funds program, the campaign said. In total, the campaign has raised more than $755,000 from more than 1,100 donors since he announced his bid for mayor last October.
This week's payment will be the second of the 2021 election cycle. The matching funds program also includes spending caps and is supposed to encourage small dollar donations.